September is my favorite month of the year, so I am a happy camper right now! Sorta summer, sorta autumn. The in between, the almost. Living in that tension is one I've always seemed to enjoy.
It's been awhile since I wrote a "Life Lately" post, but the ways in which God has been working in my life need to be documented. Journals are grand, but having this platform is a wonderful accountability tool, even if it's only a handful of you reading!
I might not have any major changes or updates to give, but honestly, I believe that's the kindness of the Lord. I've been reminded, over and over again, that a lack of life change isn't a lack of Him working. In fact the lack of "life updates" has allowed me to more clearly see the Lord in my life in ways I haven't been able to notice before. Staying up late with my roommate talking about hurt in relationships, driving to work allowing God to take away all my stress in a matter of moments with prayer, communing over amazing food with a group of friends who both know and love me fully. I thought I would have to search for Him in the mundane. Turns out He's been front and center this entire time.
With all that said, I have a cool story to tell.
Earlier in the year, I was beginning to notice a consistent pain at work; something was off. I was recently transitioned to a new team where the work seemed to disappear into thin air the moment I completed it. I'm totally worthless to them, I thought to myself over and over again. Why am I even here?
This was new territory for me. Even if it's work I haven't enjoyed, at the least, I've always felt valued in my position. This time around was different. I had no director of my department, no growth plan, and no talk of my future at the company. The thought of sticking around was quickly beginning to feel pointless.
It was the perfect recipe to begin planning my next steps.
The high of being somewhere new, where I could flourish and thrive, started to become just lethal enough to start submitting resumes. A handful of late night moments googling "Where are the best places to work in Nashville?" felt like a step in the right direction. I even began to entertain the idea of moving elsewhere. Perhaps I would commute south to the bigger pond of Atlanta. Or better yet, perhaps I would take a leap and start over in one of my favorite states, Cali-i-forn-i-a. My mind was beginning to take flight, but my heart was grounded.
Something was still off.
What do you do when staying where you are seems like the wrong choice? Even more so, what do you do when the option to go isn't right either?
Around the time when work began to go south, I was having conversations with the Lord about the miracle of sowing. There have been times in my life, as with most of us, when I'm just wading along waiting for a wave to come and disrupt my day-to-day. I had felt like I was "wading" in the water for awhile. It wasn't bothersome, it just didn't feel like a season of sowing felt as important as other times in life.
This act of sowing wasn't a new concept to me, after all, it shows up time and time again in scripture. Yet in the past, I read it with my own gain in mind. If I was patient and obedient, I would later reap a harvest. The reaping wasn't about Him, it was ultimately about me and the bounty I would someday thrive in.
Sowing was so, so, so much more. The hammer had now dropped, but not in the way I believed it would. As I was driving to work one morning, I heard Holy Spirit say to me:
Anna, remember our conversations about sowing? You're still sowing. You are scattering seeds amongst the earth, and at some point, they will reap a harvest for my glory. This is important-- pay attention.
A week later I was at a counseling session and after explaining my current situation, Gretchen asked me, "Anna, what if the Lord is asking you to keep doing what you're doing, even if it feels worthless right now?"
The Lord-- through prayer, through other people, through the Holy Spirit, through Scripture-- was clear in needing me to wait. I would continue to wait.
In a world that is always telling us to make a change when we've hit a dead end, it felt unnatural to do the opposite, to press in, to stay. Yet from that moment on, I was met with an overwhelming peace everyday I walked into work. In fact I was more joyful than I had felt in quite some time. It didn't make sense, but that's the simple, incredible power of God.
I began to ask the Lord everyday on my way to work to make it clear when a door needed to be closed and another one could be opened. About three weeks later, my company told me they would be dissolving our department. I was given the opportunity to switch roles.
A door was shut and locked, and another was opened.
My flesh was quick to be hesitant about the new role. Would it be the same situation as the previous one? Would I be able to overlook the past and actually start fresh?
It took me about 24 hours to realize I was retreating back into fear instead of jumping forward in the trust and peace He had been sowing into me the past 5 months.
I needed to walk through my one open door.
Simply put, the past two weeks in my new role have been an answer to months of prayer. My new role is not only a better fit for my natural gifts, but more importantly, I feel valued by my new team. I still have questions, but I have deep confidence about walking through my one open door so I could be pulled deeper into His love. I can't help but see God in everything I do at work now, from talking to my new clients to having lunch with my co-workers. This is the true gift!
I am still in a season of sowing as I type this post. I'm in a season of consistent prayer over "eternity-sized dreams" as I like to call them-- over my work, my current and future relationships, my church. I am in a season of sitting back and allowing God to change my heart through the quiet act of surrendering to His plans. I am in a season of finding comfort in the questions and not just the answers. I am in a season of taking care of myself so I can love others better.
Spreading and planting seeds, that is the call.
Today I am praying over my readers to be reminded of a Father who answers prayer because of how good and beautiful He is, and not because of anything we've ever done. To be reminded of the joy in partnering with Him so we can help bring others into His love. To fall in love with both seasons of sowing and seasons of reaping the harvest. To be reminded we have been called into walking this journey together!